Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Infect Immun. 2008 Dec;76(12):5738-44. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00874-08. Epub 2008 Sep 22.

Antibodies to capsular polysaccharide and clumping factor A prevent mastitis and the emergence of unencapsulated and small-colony variants of Staphylococcus aureus in mice.

Author information

Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Paraguay 2155 P-12, C1121ABG Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus infections is influenced by multiple virulence factors that are expressed under variable conditions, and this has complicated the design of an effective vaccine. Clinical trials that targeted the capsule or clumping factor A (ClfA) failed to protect the recipients against staphylococcal infections. We passively immunized lactating mice with rabbit antibodies to S. aureus capsular polysaccharide (CP) serotype 5 (CP5) or CP8 or with monoclonal antibodies to ClfA. Mice immunized with antibodies to CP5 or CP8 or with ClfA had significantly reduced tissue bacterial burdens 4 days after intramammary challenge with encapsulated S. aureus strains. After several passages in mice passively immunized with CP-specific antiserum, increasing numbers of stable unencapsulated variants of S. aureus were cultured from the infected mammary glands. Greater numbers of these unencapsulated S. aureus variants than of the corresponding encapsulated parental strains were internalized in vitro in MAC-T bovine cells. Furthermore, small-colony variants (SCVs) were recovered from the infected mammary glands after several passages in mice passively immunized with CP-specific antiserum. A combination of antibodies effectively sterilized mammary glands in a significant number of passively immunized mice. More importantly, passive immunization with antibodies to both CP and ClfA fully inhibited the emergence of unencapsulated "escape mutants" and significantly reduced the appearance of SCVs. A vaccine formulation comprising CP conjugates plus a surface-associated protein adhesin may be more effective than either antigen alone for prevention of S. aureus infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center